Since BlackBerry announced they would be working with Indonesia-based Emtek, there has been a lot of things happening surrounding BBM. New BBM enabled games have arrived, the new BBM Life news and video channel launched and BBM teamed up with Liputan6 to bring their news and videos directly into BBM and more! The progress in this area has been so great that BBM will now be bringing both games and news beyond Indonesia as well as launching two new services for BBM.
Popularity of Games Confirms Strategy to Bring More Content, Services and Brands to BBM
Games have arrived in BBM—and in a big way. We launched the first, Fruits Mania with BBM (for Android), at the beginning of the month in Indonesia, our biggest market. It was a huge hit, to the tune of 100,000 downloads in the first few days! It quickly became one of the top five games on Google Play.
Two weeks later, we released Rogue Life with BBM, also in Indonesia. We saw a similarly enthusiastic response and we will be launching one game every two weeks until the end of the year.
Both games offer single-player and multi-player options, so you can ace all the levels yourself, or invite your friends and family to join in the fun via BBM. Download the free-to-play games, Fruits Mania and Rogue Life, on Google Play.
Chat, games and news drive mobile usage
This is great confirmation of our ongoing strategy of bringing content and services to BBM. Studies show that people spend the bulk of their time on mobile doing three things: chatting, playing games, and reading news. So, we're bringing games, news, and other useful content to chat.
The numbers we're seeing in terms of engagement with gaming on the BBM platform backs up the fact that we are spending more time on messaging apps—even more than we're spending on social media.
In the news department, our own BBM Life news and video channel launched over the summer. The channel from Indonesian TV new program Liputan6.com (C002EC21B) brings regular updates to millions of subscribers.
Next, we're gearing up to extend both games and news beyond Indonesia to our other markets globally.
Brands can fill the marketing "gap" on mobile
It's fairly common knowledge that when it comes to the internet, our activity and engagement is moving to mobile. Every year, we shop more on mobile. (Alibaba reported that 82% of its biggest-shopping-day Single's Day sales came from mobile this year, up from 72% last year.) We bank more on mobile, book travel on mobile, use mobile GPS, pay with our phones… Our mobiles have become indispensable tools for so many different things. Studies show we're spending hours a day with our devices—and often two to three times as long as we think.
What's more, recent research shows that more people share content via "dark media," (email and messaging apps), than on social media: 77% to 23%.
Clearly, mobile messaging is the place to be. Yet marketers and brands have been slow to adopt in mainstream. There's currently a gap between the number of people and amount of activity on messaging apps and the marketers there to meet them. In BBM, we've been working with a few pioneering brands, but we're hoping more will see the writing on the wall, and want to catch up with consumers in messaging apps via their own content, games, stickers, videos and more. There are so many opportunities. With mobile penetration and usage rates in our biggest markets continuing to climb, those opportunities only get bigger.
Coming soon: shopping and travel
Speaking of opportunity, we're taking our own advice! We'll be launching two new services in Indonesia next month: BBM Shopping and BBM Travel. We'll let you know more shortly. For now, rest assured that we're hard at work to make BBM your favorite platform, and the center of your digital life.
As you can tell, the details on BBM Shopping and BBM Travel have been kept slim for now but it's great to see that BBM will be continuing to expand the already rolled out offerings to other areas. I get that they are focused on areas where BBM continues to be popular, but one of the largest complaints with all the new offerings in BBM is that they are all very regionally focused and in some cases, folks who would be interested in using them out can't because it's not available to them.